Rehabilitation     Description l Physical therapy l Occupational therapy l Speech therapy

Definition and its main objective

The definition of rehabilitation in regards to the human equivalent is to restore to good health or useful life, as through therapy and education. The treatment or treatments are the means to help the process of recovery from an injury, illness or a disease to as normal a condition as possible. Rehabilitation is used as an integral component after many types of injury, illness, or disease, including amputations, arthritis, cancer, cardiac disease, neurological problems, orthopedic injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke and traumatic brain injuries and should only be carried out by qualified therapists.

ENT Medicine Description

Rehabilitation addresses the patient's physical, psychological, and environmental needs. By restoring the patient’s physical functions and or/modifying his/her physical and social environment, the patient can recover to as a normal state as possible. There are three main types of rehabilitation, physical, occupational, and speech therapy. Each of these rehabilitation programs is tailored to the individual patient’s needs and can include one or more types of therapy. To maximize the efficiency of the rehabilitation, the patient’s physician usually coordinates the efforts of the rehabilitation team. This can include physical, occupational, speech, or other therapists, nurses, engineers, physiatrists (physical medicine), psychologists, orthotists, prosthetists and vocational counselors. On occasion, family members are a big part of the patient’s rehabilitation process especially to provide encouragement.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy helps restore the use of the muscles, bones and the nervous system through the use of massage, baths, cold-treatment, ultrasound, exercise and other techniques, its main objective is to improve mobility and strength but also to relieve pain and to help the patient be able to perform the daily tasks he/she needs done. Among the most known types of physical therapy is exercise, which patients may conduct on his or her own or with the help of the therapist. There are several types of exercise equipment, such as an exercise table or a mat, a stationary bicycle, walking aids, practice stairs, weights, pulleys, weights, wheelchair etc.

For more severe injuries/illnesses, physical therapy is not only used to facilitate but also to rehabilitate patients’ health. Examples of those injuries/illnesses are amputations, arthritis, cancer, cardiac disease, burns, neurological problems, pulmonary disease, spinal cord injuries, stroke, traumatic brain injuries, cervical and lumbar dysfunction and others.

The length of this program depends on several factors such as the injury/illness being treated and the patient’s response to therapy.

Occupational therapy

Occupational Therapy is actually a lot like physical therapy but with a more focus on helping the patient to regain the ability to do normal everyday tasks by teaching the patient to restore old skills OR teaching him/her new skills in order for him/her to adjust to the disabilities by orthotics, modification of the patient’s home environment or through the means of adaptive equipment. This kind of therapy is usually prescribed after amputation, cardiac disease, cancer, head injuries, neurological injuries, spinal cord disease, stroke, arthritis and others.

In this therapy the patient is taught how to walk with the assist of devices such as canes, crutches, artificial limbs and walkers and getting around without walking; wheelchairs and motorized scooters as couple of examples, but also moving from one spot to another with the help of boards, bars and lifts.

Speech therapy

Speech disorder is a type of communication disorder where normal speech is interrupted and this is where speech therapy comes in; to correct the speech disorder or to restore speech.

It is usually prescribed to rehabilitate a patient after a brain injury, cancer, neuromuscular diseases, stroke and other injuries/illnesses.

The length of the program depends on the injury/illness and the patient’s response to the therapy. Speech therapy is conducted by a speech pathologist. The sessions involve regular meetings with the therapist in an individual or group setting and home exercises. Also during these sessions the patient might be asked to conduct a series of exercises to strengthen muscles. These might include saying words, smiling, closing his/her mouth, or sticking out his/her tongue. Picture cards are helpful aids that may be used to help the patient remember everyday objects and increase his/her vocabulary. Another one is the use picture boards of everyday activities or objects so that the patient can communicate with others. Other helpful aids such as workbooks might be used to help the patient recall the names of objects and practice reading, writing, and listening. Patients can also benefit from computer programs which help sharpen their speech, reading and listening skills.


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